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National Recruitment Agency gets Cabinet’s nod for conducting Common Entrance Test

|| Rhythima Agrawal

The Union Cabinet cleared a proposal for setting up a National Recruitment Agency for conducting the common entrance test for middle and junior level jobs in the central government and public sector banks. It would provide relief to the millions of aspirants who had to appear for multiple exams for similar job positions.
The launch of a new test procedure will require the applicant to appear for a single test known as the Common Entrance Test or CET for all non-gazette posts — Group B and C posts. Candidates who qualify this Common Entrance Test (CET) can apply to any recruitment agencies for higher level of examination. The scores of CET will be valid for three years. On an average 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear for about 1.25 lakh vacancies in the central government every year. From next year, NRA will conduct a common eligibility test (CET) and based on the CET score; one can apply for a vacancy with the respective agency.
“Cabinet’s Decision for setting a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for preliminary selection to various Government vacancies is a revolutionary reform. It will bring ease of recruitment, ease of selection and thereby ease of living for aspirant candidates”, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
The proposal to set up NRA for conducting CET was part of the announcements made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union budget speech earlier this year. The Union Minister highlighted the importance of the new proposal and said that examination centers would be set up in every district of the country, which would enhance access to the candidates located in far-flung areas. There will be special focus on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 districts, which will give easy access to candidates to a place nearer to where they reside.
In one stroke, it will be a boon to crores of aspirants residing in hilly, rural and remote areas and most importantly, to the female candidates facing a plethora of problems. NRA also envisions conducting mock tests for rural youth and will have a 24×7 helpline and grievance redressal portal. The new proposed test mechanism, i.e. CET, will not just cut costs but will also save time and inconvenience of conducting several examinations by the government, recruiting agencies. With this, candidates can be picked directly for recruitment at non-gazette posts in the government and public sector banks based on CET results.
The NRA will conduct a separate entrance test for the candidates possessing different educational qualification namely; graduate, higher secondary and the matriculate. The test would be conducted for those non-technical posts to which recruitment was done by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialized Tiers (II, III etc.) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.
Commenting on the medium of instruction for CET, Singh added that besides Hindi and English, tests would be held in 12 languages. Efforts would be made to include all the languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

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